The idea of LAB, a Minneapolis-based creative studio near Loring Park, was sparked by Mollie Windmiller and Jessica Moriarty’s desire for a space where the community could come together, create, and connect. Since 2014, they’ve grown into one of the most successful studios in the Twin Cities metro, offering a wide variety of creative explorations like weaving, calligraphy, watercolor, and more. We caught up with Windmiller to learn more about the studio’s creative workshops, biggest DIY fails, and even LAB’s newest endeavor.
What sets your studio apart from others?
What sets us apart is our true passion for connecting with our community and creating events/experiences to bring people together and learn new things. It has definitely evolved over the past five years, which has been inspiring in itself. We thrive on providing inspiring spaces to meet new people and create awareness for businesses and talent here in Minnesota.
Why do you think DIY has become so popular in recent years?
The busyness of our lives creates more of a need to step away from your computer, your phone, your desk—and find an outlet to relax, unwind, and get into the right side of your brain and escape from the daily grind. We don’t see DIY as a way to save money on the project—it’s a way to put that creative energy to use. It is incredibly empowering to stay curious and create something and then to be able to share that experience in the form of a tangible product, a new skill or even a new community of like-minded people.
Tell us about your biggest DIY fail.
Oh, man—We still laugh about the painted wooden cubes we created for The Collective in 2018. We didn’t think through the process for making a cube, and thought we could cut every panel the same size. Math is hard. Regardless, the cubes have become notable props in our styled photography and we will be making more.
What is your best piece of advice for a beginner DIYer?
There are millions of ways to come to that end result. If you don’t like it the first time, you can always do it again differently the next time. Learning something new and giving yourself permission to fail is what I love best about the creative process and DIY projects.
Do you have any new, exciting classes/projects in the works?
We launched a new monthly series called “LAB Talks” and we are beyond excited to be connecting with so many incredibly talented people in our community to share their experiences and different perspectives on business. It’s a free event in partnership with Hennepin Made and the Holden Room along with many amazing local sponsors.
This month, you can learn about floral design, calligraphy, and more at their May workshops:
- Saturday, May 4 – Watercolor Lab, 10:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, May 8 – Brush Calligraphy Lab, 6:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 11 – Floral Lab, 10:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, May 15 – Calligraphy Lab, 6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 22 – Leather Lab 1.0, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 30 – Punch Needle Lab, 6:30 p.m.
For additional info and locations, visit labmpls.com.
And, as always, another month brings plenty of classes to attend and projects to craft across the Twin Cities metro. Read on for the DIY classes Carver Junk Co., Projects in Person, and Socially Handcrafted will host this month.
Carver Junk Co.
Google describes Carver Junk Co. as a “cozy shop for restored vintage furniture, housewares, and accessories with a rustic-chic aesthetic.” True, but they left out the kicker: They offer some can’t-miss, one-of-a-kind DIY classes, too.
- Saturday, May 4 – Mini Succulent Boxes Workshop, 10 a.m.
- Sunday, May 5 – Summer Yard Games (Yahtzee or Giant Farkle), 1 p.m.
- Saturday, May 18 – DIY Doormat Workshop, 11 a.m.
- Saturday, May 18 – Farmhouse Wreath, 4 p.m.
- Friday, May 24 – Farmhouse Coat Rack Workshop, 6 p.m.
Times subject to change. For additional info and locations, visit carverjunkcompany.com.
Projects in Person
Projects in Person, better known as PIP, offers wood-based home decor projects that range from headboards to cutting boards and everything in between. They bring the tools; you bring the creativity.
- Saturday, May 11 – Bean Bag Boards, 10 a.m.
- Saturday, May 11 – Giant Ruler or Menu Board, 5 p.m.
- Friday, May 17 – Clock Workshop, 7 p.m.
- Saturday, May 18 – Cutting Board, 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 21 – Yard Dice, 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 22 – Headboard, 7 p.m.
- Thursday, May 23 – Washer Toss, 7 p.m.
- Thursday, May 30 – Copper + Wood Ladder, 7 p.m.
For additional info and locations, visit projectsinperson.com.
Socially Handcrafted, located in Burnsville, has a personality. I mean, their motto is “…because crafting is cheaper than therapy.” Not only do they have a sense of humor, but they’re Minnesota’s only “speakeasy” DIY studio—sure to provide a new, exciting, and promising experience.
- Saturday, May 18 – Spring Porch Signs, 2-5 p.m.
- Thursday, May 8 – Chunky Chenille Throw, 7-9 p.m.
- Saturday, May 11 – Interchangeable Home Sign, 9 a.m. to noon
- Thursday, May 23 – Punch Needle Class, 6-9 p.m.
By popular demand, Socially Handcrafted offers 10 paint pouring classes in May. Experience the hype at one of these dates/times:
- Wednesday, May 8, 7-9 p.m.
- Friday, May 10, 5-7 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
- Saturday, May 11, 1-3 p.m.
- Friday, May 17, 7-9 p.m.
- Saturday, May 18, 9-11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 22, 7-9 p.m.
- Saturday, May 25, 1-3 p.m. and 3-5 p.m.
For additional info and locations, visit sociallyhandcrafted.com.